What are my rights if I have a landlord who kicks me out when I have a lease I have not violated?
When there is no breach of the lease, tenants are generally entitled to notice of termination that is equal to the number of days in a rent-paying period. See Tex. Prop. Code § 91.001. However, that general rule does not apply if the lease provides for a different period of notice to terminate the tenancy, or if there is a breach of contract recognized by law. See id.
If the tenant refuses to vacate after receiving notice from the landlord, then, after the landlord properly files suit and executes service, a trial may be held where the court will determine who has the right to immediate possession of the premises. See Fandey v. Lee, 880 S.W.2d 164, 168 (Tex. App.—El Paso 1994, writ denied). In order to prevail at trial, part of what the landlord must prove is that he has the right to immediate possession of the property—which would require proof that the tenant violated the lease, and consequently provided the landlord with authority to require the tenant to vacate. See Coffee v. Carol, 1994 Tex. App. LEXIS 4049* (Tex. App.—Dallas 1994, no writ). If the tenant prevails, he will be entitled to remain in possession of the premises, and may collect attorney’s fees from the landlord. See Tex. Prop. Code § 92.005.
Finally, when a tenant has been wrongfully evicted, he may bring a separate suit against the landlord for wrongful eviction. In order to prevail, and recover damages from the landlord, the tenant will be required to prove (1) the existence of an unexpired lease; (2) that the tenant occupied the premises described by the lease; (3) that the tenant was evicted or dispossessed of the premises by the landlord; and (4) the damages attributable to the eviction. See McKenzie v. Carte, 385 S.W.2d 520, 528 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi-Edinburg 1964, writ ref’d n.r.e.).
If you feel you have been wrongfully evicted from a lease, contact The Werner Law Group today for relief.